More education/awareness required todeal with soldiers suffering from PTSD

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TRURO - Soldiers trying to deal with the after effects of war need to know they will have unyielding support when they return home.

Kevin McNeil

That was the suggestion made by Kevin McNeil, 28, brother of W.O. Michael Robert McNeil, who died Nov. 27 from an apparent suicide, prior to funeral services on Thursday.

"We'll never be in these guys shoes. We'll never experience what they have ever gone through, no matter what," McNeil said, while speaking to media in front of the Truro Armoury.

"What we can do, is make more people aware," he said of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

"More families that are going through the same thing we are going through, to talk to these soldiers and let them know that they're jobs aren't in jeopardy and that we're here for them. That we're supporting them for whatever they do for us."

McNeil described his older brother as a "family man first" and "a hero second" to his country.

"He gave everything. Everything possibly that he could to his kids, to the loved ones and anyone at all times around him to make sure that he brought the best out of everybody."

But whatever systems may be in place to deal with the effects of PTSD, more education and awareness are required so that others such as his brother should not have to spend their days suffering in silence.

"This is just like an ongoing question that just keeps coming up," he said, of what should be done to deal with PTSD.

"And it's a boiling pot that is just going to overflow. There isn't going to be any stop to it and the most we can do is slow it down," McNeil said.

"As hard as it is to say, it's not going to stop, you know. But we can be there to at least educate and let people know and hopefully find a way, you know, to talk to more people about it."

hsullivan@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @tdnharry

  

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